Over the long years of its existence, the hare has never been tamed by humans. But sometimes it happens that a wild defenseless bunny gets into people’s homes, and a person needs to feed him. The feed that hares eat in the forest and at home is significantly different.
Description of animals
Usually a wild animal of the hare family acquires offspring in the last month of winter. After the appearance of small rabbits, the female feeds them first, then leaves the hole, so as not to attract predatory animals with their smell. After a while, she returns again with the intention of feeding them and leaving again. So the female behaves until the hare has teeth. The first teeth of young animals begin to erupt at a weekly age. Then mother drags grass for young growth into a hole. The first lure begins on the tenth day of life.
Young hares feed on grass and after the age of one month they no longer need the help of their mother.
In the wild, there are several varieties of this fluffy herbivore animal. They all differ in fur, size and behavior. On the territory of Russia will be able to meet representatives of each of the breeds.
This animal lives in the forest-steppe zone of our country, in the southern part of the USA and Mongolia. To mask in the winter, the animal changes its natural gray fur to a snow-white fur coat. Only the ears at the end remain black. In summer, a wild animal that lives in the forest eats mushrooms, cereals, dandelions, rowan fruits, blueberries and herbs. In the fields, cabbage becomes food for wild rodents; in the garden, animals bite onions, carrot tops and root crops. In the autumn, the hare survives by eating young twigs of bushes. In winter, when the feed is tight, a hungry animal eats the bark of aspen, willow and birch.
This is a large hare with brown fur with white, black and gray hairs throughout the fur coat. The animal inhabits the territory of the Far East, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkey. Hares feed on dandelions, chicory and cereals. These forest animals cause great harm to melons, vegetables and fruits. In winter, the beast gnaws at tree bark, stalks of young seedlings and shrubs. He prefers to eat maple and oak bark, to pull seeds from fruits and plants out of snowdrifts.
Representatives of this variety, which is small in size with long legs and ears, lives on the territory of Russia mainly in the steppe zone, as well as in the territories of Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In nature, the basis of their diet is green vegetation. In early spring, individuals eat tubers and roots of herbaceous plants. In the summer, they feed on cereals and sedge, in the autumn – barley, wheat and corn. In winter, with a lack of green food, the hare is eaten by the bark on trees and shrubs, young shoots.
The largest population lives in the Far East, on the Amur coast and in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Externally, the species is similar to a wild rabbit – it weighs about 2.5 kg, has a body of small length, short and stiff hair. With the advent of another season, the fur does not change. These hares eat the same as white hares, in the cold season they feed on tree bark, young stems of plants and bushes. During the spring-autumn period, fruits and berries are eaten.
Nutrition in nature
Feeding grouse in the wild depends on the season. In the summer, in the forest, the hare eats young branches of fruit trees. Animals love to gnaw stems and leaves, sometimes they eat roots, but only young ones.
In the second half of summer, wild grouse feed on seeds of herbaceous plants. The most favorite are inflorescences and shoots of dandelions, clover, chicory, alfalfa, tansy and colza. Of cultivated plants, preference is given to cereal crops and sunflower. Young growth and mature hares love watermelon, melon.
In winter, in nature, hares feed on seeds of cereal, meadow, and steppe plants, eat garden crops (fruits, root crops), digging them out from under the snow.
In severe winters, the wild animal is not able to extract food from under the thick snow cover for itself and its family, therefore it feeds on woody vegetation – bark and tree shoots. Favorite trees: oak, apple, maple, pear, willow and aspen.
With a lack of mineral and nutrients, the animal eats even soil or small stones. It is a herbivore, but there have been isolated cases when a hungry hare was eaten by the meat of partridges stuck in hunting nets or traps.
Bringing hare nutrition at home to natural feeding is problematic. To feed them at home is at least twice a day, and in small portions to eliminate the risk of indigestion. A single serving for a little hare is 5-10 ml.
The monthly bunny begins to feed on its own. Leaves of a fruit tree (cherries, cherries, plums), berries, vegetables (cabbage, carrots, beets) are eaten with a young hare, and apples are preferred from fruits. Juicy feed is the basis of nutrition in the summer. Young adults and adults are given dried grass and steppe grasses.
Shelf feed is introduced into the diet from the age of two months. With earlier feeding, such food can provoke problems with the gastrointestinal tract. With the advent of winter, individuals are fed hay from meadow herbs and branches of fruit trees. Harvesting food for the winter is made in the summer.
A hare that lives in a forest or in the steppe zone, over the course of its entire life, travels hundreds of thousands of kilometers, so keeping such a beast at home is contraindicated. For its temporary maintenance, a spacious room is suitable – an aviary or a cage. Some breeders keep animals free-range in the living area. But it is worth considering the fact that individuals will leave their excrement everywhere, they will have to periodically collect their litter.
Young russians need some care:
- the optimal thermal regime for young animals is 20 ° C;
- after each feeding, the animals are given a massage of the abdomen to improve the digestion process;
- A cotton sponge moistened with warm water needs to be wiped under the tail.
These wild representatives of the hare-like order possess unique features:
- Hares have increased endurance and are able to overcome long distances during a day, developing high speed (about 50 km per hour). The pursuit of a hare during a hunt requires large energy costs from seeking dogs.
- The ears of the animal are a kind of temperature regulator – through them the excess heat leaves.
- In the precipitation season, the beast presses its ears to the head so that the water does not get inside and does not cause illness.
Brave hare, master of the forest &# 128578;
How can and should you feed rabbits in the winter. Feeding lactating rabbit peas.
Wild animals require conditions that are as close to natural as possible. If a person had to raise small rabbits on their own, they are provided with everything necessary for full growth and development.
Those who are just starting to breed rabbits sometimes wonder why rabbits eat their litter. Is it normal? Or they lack the nutrients in the feed. Or maybe they got sick and they need to be shown to a doctor and treated. Coprophagy, or the consumption of one’s stool, is completely normal behavior for rabbits. About why animals do this, what it is connected with and how the owner should behave, read our article.
Why do rabbits need two kinds of litter?
In rabbits, food quickly reaches the stomach, does not have time to digest whole, and goes outside in the form of the first litter. Due to such a feature as coprophagy, animals can eat it again and then digest it completely.
That is, in this type of animal excrement of two types is formed:
Solid "peas" are produced only in the second half of the day and are ordinary waste products. Rabbits do not eat them. The second type is soft feces, a kind of food "semi-finished product", which again goes into food.
Half-digested food comes out in a specific form of poop. They are called cecotrophs and look like clusters of small soft balls covered with a shiny shell. This litter is allocated in the first half of the day. In fact, it is a fermented food processed by bacteria. Your pets eat it.
Causes of the phenomenon
Let’s see why the rabbit eats its litter. The first reason is that it contains many vitamins and other nutrients. The second – double digestion helps the animal better absorb coarse plant fibers and get maximum energy.
You should not consider coprophagy as something terrible and rush to clean the cecotrophs. If the rabbit eats its nocturnal poop – this is normal and even necessary. By depriving rabbits of their ability to eat soft feces, you risk depriving them of the necessary trace elements. This can lead to poor health and even death.
Sometimes breeders are proud that their pets receive all the necessary substances from the diet, which is why they stop eating feces. In any case, the owners do not observe this.
For the most part, cecotrophs are eaten by the rabbit at the time of isolation. From the outside, this may resemble ordinary body care.
Cause for concern
But if the animal begins to eat solid "peas", then this is a cause for concern for the breeder. Perhaps the animal has vitamin deficiency, or it lacks food. Pay attention to the diet, its composition and amount, the content of vitamins.
When an uneaten "bunch" is found in the cell in the afternoon, this may indicate that there is too much green in the feed that does not have time to digest.
This may also indicate worms in the body of the animal. Change the composition of the feed and take tests. If necessary, treat your pet. All the details are in the article "On the worms in rabbits."
The pungent smell of cecotroph is one of the signs of dysbiosis, which disrupts the fermentation of the feed during the formation of soft bowel movements. It can also be a sign of internal inflammation. Contact your veterinarian and follow his recommendations.
And remember, coprophagy is a natural feature of the digestion of rabbits.
Write in the comments how your rabbits behave.
In order for a hare hunt to be successful, an experienced hunter must study their habits in advance. Search for places where they prefer to arrange lodging and lodging. extremely fascinating occupation, which is the key to future hunting success.
Knowing what a hare eats, you can hunt it in all known ways.
Hare feeding in spring and summer
Hares. vegetarians. They feed on grass, young shoots, berries, tubers, do not bypass agricultural fields. However, in the summer, when there is a lot of food, they prefer places remote from people.
Observations showed that hares do not have “favorite” types of food. They willingly eat everything that grows in the forest and forest-steppe zones. In particular, the Stavropol merchants even eat such poisonous plants as buttercups and larkspur.
From children’s books we know that long-eared rodents madly love cabbage. However, this myth is akin to stories in which mice go crazy with cheese, and hedgehogs love apples, picking them up on thorns. Hares would rather prefer to profit from a field sown with cereals, potatoes or beets.
The places of adipose whales, crayfish, and tolls vary, depending on the habitat.
- Small whales prefer small glades, bushes, ravines. Accordingly, the majority of forest plants are included in their diet: from spring sour acid (aka rabbit cabbage), mouse peas, yarrow, and berries. Sometimes the white eats horsetails, some types of mushrooms.
- Tolai love to feed in open places. The basis of their summer diet is horse sorrel, tamarisk, sedge, wormwood, chingil, tubers, bulbs of herbaceous plants.
- Mermaid is still omnivorous. They can feed both far from people and insolently approach the outskirts of settlements. Dandelions, clover, tansy, chicory, and other wild species eat. Willingly feast on sunflowers, cereals, as well as all that they find in the gardens. There are cases when gray thieves dug tubers of young potatoes directly from the ground, nibbled shoots from melons.
What do hares eat in autumn and winter
Starting in October, hares become even more omnivorous. They eat the bark of trees and with the onset of cold weather, they are getting closer and closer to human habitation. Outskirts with winter crops, which they dig out from under the snow, and distant hayfields with hay already prepared, are especially popular with them.
In heavy snowfall, hares prefer to stay in bed for several days, eating their own dry droppings. Little rabbits feed on dry grass, which the mother abundantly lines the nest.
- The whites gnaw on the bark from almost all trees: willow, maple, mountain ash, birch, juniper, oak. With strong paws, he digs green grass from under the snow.
- Tolai migrate from places with high snow cover to the valleys, closer to the settlements. They feed on the fields with the remnants of corn, crops, tree bark.
- In winter, gnats turn into a real disaster for gardeners, gnawing fruit tree trunks to the height of their growth. They also feed on seeds, dry inflorescences of herbs, gnaw bark of maples, hazel, oaks.
Hares (like all herbivores) are deficient in mineral salts in the body. Traces of cleft teeth are often found on the horns and bones of fallen animals cast off by moose.
Therefore, experienced hunters lure hares with salt water, watering snow or soil in places of future hunting. According to some recipes, salt is best dissolved in a decoction of dry raspberry leaves.
The bait also includes thin branches of aspen, willow (best of all, with buds), parsley (fresh or dry).
However, it should be remembered that some types of hunting, which require bait, are prohibited in areas with a small number of hares.
K O P R O. F A G I
Dear visitor, today I propose to talk about a seemingly secondary thing, about how rabbits go to the toilet and what at the same time they give out “to the mountain”. Once we already touched on this topic in terms of disposal and practical application of rabbit manure. This time we will look at all this from a completely different angle. And take my word for now, this is a very important point. It turns out that not everything that your pet produces immediately goes to the garbage bin …
What are cecotrophs.
If you carefully watch your rabbit, you will easily notice one feature. Namely, that he produces two types of litter. In the afternoon, these are hard, dry, dark brown peas that crumble when trying to crush them. They consist mainly of fiber undigested by the rabbit, slags and do not represent any value to the animal. You basically see it on the floor of the cage or under it. Much less often, mainly in the morning, in the rabbit’s abode, ceccotrophs can be found.
CEKOTROPHES or primary feces are soft, moist pellets that form in the cecum of the rabbit mostly at night (which is why it is sometimes called nocturnal feces). Almost always they have an oblong shape, often glued together (sometimes similar to clusters of grapes), covered with a shiny shell and have a specific sour smell. Color can vary from black to dark brown or dark olive. For rabbits are of great nutritional value.
They include undigested food debris and bacteria that contain a noticeable amount of high-value proteins, vitamins, trace elements … Laboratory studies have identified the following figures: 30-33% crude protein, more than 2% crude fat, about 17% crude fiber, 38 -40% BEV and 9-10% ash elements, water-soluble vitamins of group B and K.
What is coprophagy.
Some will ask, why, in fact, does he write all this? And then, that every rabbit breeder should know that all rabbits eat their cecotrophs and this is a very important element of their nutrition and life as a whole. This phenomenon is called cecotrophy or coprophagy (more precisely, autocoprophagy). It is estimated that the rabbit receives an additional 30% of energy due to coprophagy. For a rabbit – this is energy, for a rabbit breeder – money, and not bad. Conversely, a lack of cecotroph leads to a slowdown in young growth, dysbiosis and vitamin deficiency.
TO ANIMALS , eating their own excrement include rodents: guinea pigs, chinchillas, hares, rabbits. Their digestive tract is often not able to digest plant foods efficiently the first time. However, many high molecular weight substances (hemicelluloses) are not absorbed by the walls of the intestine during the first passage, such nutrients become available after prolonged treatment with intestinal microflora. Animals have the ability to increase the beneficial effects of food by re-eating semi-digested plants.
Errors of rabbit breeders regarding coprophagy.
Novice farmers, once catching a rabbit for the above-described occupation, at best fall into a stupor, at worst, begin to pick out balls from their mouth, considering it unclean or worry that their pet is hungry, malnourished and begin to edit the diet. However, it is not. Even a very neat and well-fed rabbit kills his ceccotrophs for both cheeks, swallows without even chewing and with great pleasure. Studies have shown that individual indigestible components can do four circles through the body of a rabbit until they are completely assimilated. By morning, so many cecotrophs accumulate in the stomach that they make up to 75% of the total mass of all its contents.
People often ask me what then to do if the rabbit needs cecotrophs and the floor in the cage is mesh or trellised. There is no reason to worry. The rabbit accurately determines the moment of appearance of green balls and absorbs them without hesitation right at the exit. At first, you might think that he licks and cleans himself, bending and turning his muzzle towards the anus or groin. That is why when eating a cecotroph, the back of the animal is always clean.
Features of the digestive system of the rabbit.
Since rabbits are originally herbivorous animals, their digestive tract is most adapted for plant foods, is able to digest rough food, absorb cellulose from it. For this, unlike other animals, in the place where the small intestine passes into the large one, there is a “blind” branch with highly developed muscles. This formation is called the cecum (at the next internally, be sure to find this rounded pouch). In size, it exceeds the stomach by 10 times. It is here that ceccotrophs are formed, where undigested food debris is fermented when exposed to special bacteria. The muscles of the cecum are capable of pushing the resulting balls further into the space of the large intestine, and then the rectum. When the rabbit is re-introduced into the rabbit’s body, it first enters the stomach, but due to the protective membrane, it is not exposed to the acidic environment and is transferred directly to the intestine for subsequent digestion.
Coprophagy is an additional key to understanding a rabbit.
The number of cecotrophs formed can vary for many reasons and therefore serves as a signal to the rabbit breeder that something has gone wrong. Consider the main regulatory factors. It is considered optimal when the rabbit breeder does not detect the presence of cecotroph in the cell. This means that they are produced exactly as much as the rabbit needs, and this means that he ate all the developed ceccotrophs. But this does not always happen.
The amount of primary stool produced depends on the diet. If you notice in the morning that there are a lot of cecotrophs in the cage, or if the rabbit began to produce them even during the day, analyze if you overdid it with food. It is necessary to adjust the norms of their delivery, because the stomach does not have time to correctly overdo the incoming mass, which means that useful substances are not completely absorbed into the blood. In this case, the cecum works with increased load. It is recommended to limit the amount of cereals, feed mixtures, succulent natural food or even switch to one hay before stool normalization. Otherwise, the composition of the microflora will inevitably begin to change in the cecum, harmful bacteria may appear and, as a result, dysbiosis.
There is a method for treating dysbacteriosis, when the healthy rabbit’s cecotrophs are mixed into the food for a sick relative. Of course, in the required quantity they can be collected with a sufficiently large farm. Separately, there is the problem of dysbacteriosis in babies who switch from feeding to milk to feed conventional feeds. Rabbits are especially affected after artificial feeding. And here ceccotrophs serve as an indispensable medicine (see table).
Soft green sticky balls can result from infection of the rabbit with worms. In this case, appropriate analyzes will be useful. When confirming the presence of helminths, be sure to gobble up your pets, and take prophylaxis for all born babies.